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Colgate Names CEO

It hits first-quarter targets too.
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Colgate (CL) - Get Colgate-Palmolive Company Report matched first-quarter earnings targets and said operating chief Ian Cook will take over as CEO for longtime chief Reuben Mark.

The New York-based toothpaste maker made $487 million, or 89 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from the year-ago $325 million, or 59 cents a share. Excluding certain items, earnings were 77 cents a share. Sales rose 12% from a year ago to $3.21 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 77-cent profit on sales of $3.11 billion.

Excluding divestments, worldwide sales and unit volume grew 12.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Global pricing increased 1.0%, and foreign exchange added 3.0%. The very strong top-line growth was supported by a 20% increase in worldwide advertising spending to a record level.

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Colgate said Mark will retire July 1 but stay on as chairman for 18 months. Mark has been CEO since 1984. Colgate had previously said Mark was planning to retire.